RTE poaches O'Brien to lead the Magners pack
RTE has signed up a new presenter for its Magners League coverage this autumn after poaching presenter Daire O'Brien from Setanta Ireland.
The Herald can reveal how the broadcaster will be adding the new face to its sports team, starting shortly.
One of Setanta's best-known broadcasters, O'Brien's absence will come as a massive blow to the sports station when he moves to his new job.
However, he's said to be "over the moon" with the new position, which represents a massive step up for him on the career ladder after impressing RTE bosses with his affable presenting manner.
Daire, who is away on holidays this week, previously anchored a sports show with Setanta Ireland and is also a contributor on Newstalk, filling in sometimes on the lunchtime slot recently vacated by Eamon Keane.
He'll be reporting on all the live action from the Magners League, which kicks off on September 3 when reigning champions Ospreys travel to Belfast to take on Ulster.
Glasgow Warriors will also play host to runners-up Leinster on the same weekend.
The addition of O'Brien to the team is part of a significant investment in RTE's forthcoming coverage of the campaign, which comes after it secured the rights to broadcast the league until at least 2013.
The deal, which also includes BBC Northern Ireland and TG4, means that the majority of matches in the Irish provinces will now be broadcast on free-to-air TV.
RTE is expected to mainly screen matches involving Leinster, Munster and Connacht.
Meanwhile, Setanta now faces an uncertain future when it comes to a possible replacement for O'Brien.